View Full Version : Sonics official to play in OKC

07-02-2008, 09:04 PM
SuperSonics, Seattle reach last-minute settlement
By TIM BOOTH, AP Sports Writer
32 minutes ago

Buzz Up PrintSEATTLE (AP)—The SuperSonics will move to Oklahoma City for the 2008-09 season as part of a settlement with the city of Seattle, ending a contentious relationship that resulted in a trial in which the judge was due to issue her ruling Wednesday.

The settlement calls for Sonics owner Clay Bennett and the Professional Basketball Club LLC to pay up to $75 million to the city in exchange for the immediate termination of the KeyArena lease between the NBA team and the city.

The team’s name and colors will be staying in Seattle.

“We made it,” Bennett said after stepping to an Oklahoma City podium featuring the NBA logo and the letters OKC. “The NBA will be in Oklahoma City next season.”

Bennett said the move would start Thursday and the first focus would be on the SuperSonics’ players.

Bennett announced that the settlement calls for a payment of $45 million immediately, and would include another $30 million paid to Seattle in 2013 if the state Legislature in Washington authorizes at least $75 million in public funding to renovate KeyArena by the end of 2009 and Seattle doesn’t obtain an NBA franchise of its own within the next five years.

“We understand that city, county, and state officials are currently discussing a plan to substantially rebuild KeyArena for the sum of $300 million,” NBA commissioner David Stern said in a statement. “If this funding were authorized, we believe KeyArena could properly be renovated into a facility that meets NBA standards relating to revenue generation, fan amenities, team facilities, and the like.”

Bennett said he and Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels signed a binding agreement Wednesday, which would be formalized later, that keeps the SuperSonics’ name, logo and colors available if Seattle gets a replacement franchise.

“We have 30 million reasons why we have support for a future NBA team,” Seattle city attorney Tom Carr said.

In April, the NBA Board of Governors approved Bennett’s application to move the team to Oklahoma City, pending the outcome of the trial between the team and the city. The settlement came six days after the trial concluded.

It doesn’t cover a pending lawsuit filed by Starbucks Corp. chairman Howard Schultz, who is seeking to regain control of the team he sold to Bennett in 2006 for $350 million. Schultz claims that Bennett didn’t follow through on an agreement to negotiate in good faith for a new arena in Seattle for one full year before seeking relocation options.

The trial was centered on the lease agreement between the city and the team that called for the Sonics to play at KeyArena through the 2009-10 season.

Sonics lead attorney Brad Keller contended that Bennett should simply be able to write a check to satisfy the final two years of the lease. Keller argued that the “specific performance” clause the city rested its case on should not apply in a garden-variety dispute between tenant and landlord.

Bennett and his ownership group previously offered to pay the city $26.5 million in February to buy out the final two years of the lease. They were rebuffed.

AP Sports Writer Jeff Latzke in Oklahoma City contributed to this report.


07-02-2008, 09:04 PM
Faggz to the maxxxxxxxxx

07-02-2008, 09:19 PM
Can a mod change the title to, Sonics official to play in OKC during the 2008-2009 season.

07-02-2008, 09:22 PM
Bad news. Seattle deserves a franchise. It's a borderline shame.

Oklahoma City??? C'mon.

07-02-2008, 09:23 PM
Bad news. Seattle deserves a franchise. It's a borderline shame.
Well from the looks of it, It looks like it will be a Cleveland Browns type situation where the team will move away and they will get another franchise sometime in the future since they will be able to keep the name and colors.

07-02-2008, 09:24 PM
Seriously. OKC in favor of Seattle. Ridiculous.

07-02-2008, 09:25 PM
It's because the owner is faggz

07-02-2008, 09:38 PM
**** Bennett. **** Stern. **** Bennett again.

07-02-2008, 10:04 PM
^^ Omg that sig is hilarious.

07-02-2008, 10:14 PM
Way to take a crap on a loyal fan base...

07-02-2008, 10:18 PM
seattle is such a good city that's a shame.

07-02-2008, 10:25 PM
So their gunna have a new name and new colors....

man i rlly was hoping they would stay in seattle

07-02-2008, 10:36 PM
Sucks to be a sonics fan right now.

07-02-2008, 11:43 PM
Stern said they'd definetely welcome Seattle back into the NBA... eh. Sympathy crap?

Dirty Dirk41
07-02-2008, 11:50 PM
gurantee seattle will get a a team back eventaully..or just get the sonics back....pretty curious as to what the team name and colors will be, and to see the logo and jerseys.

07-03-2008, 10:32 AM
Stern said they'd definetely welcome Seattle back into the NBA... eh. Sympathy crap?

What do you expect? It is David Stern.

07-03-2008, 10:34 AM
I feel bad for Seattle. :(

07-03-2008, 10:35 AM
The sonics will be back in about 3 years when they move the grizzles out of memphis so i'm not too worried.